Communication challenges occur due to a variety of conditions and diseases – some cognitive and some physical – but the result is the same. Isolation and loneliness for the child, and frustration and heart break for their loved ones.
As a parent of a child diagnosed with Epilepsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder, Joan learned early that she could be the voice for her daughter. Joan understood that even though her daughter could not find the words to communicate, she had desires, emotions and life experiences that went unsaid.
Joan realized that by sharing her insights about her child with her child’s team at school, they could get to know her child in a deeper way, and start to unlock the door for her child to express herself.
Joan started creating tools and communicating regularly with her child's school. Joan used words and phrases that resonated with her child, and focused on topics that peaked her child’s interests and those of peers.
￼￼Soon, educators sought this information out. This sharing of common experiences allowed educators to speak to Joan’s child in her “authentic” language and leverage their insights to advocate more effectively for Joan's child. Joan watched in wonder as her daughter began to emerge, and peer relationships between her child and classmates blossomed.
One of the most powerful things Joan learned through her experience is that families hold much of the key to helping their child advance, and deserve to be the voice for their child. The more closely Joan worked with her child’s school, Joan grew to believe in full transparency, and recognized that the more families know, the better they are able to help their children. What's more, Joan realized that teachers hold much of the key to engaging her child's peers and increasing her child's communication with the family at home.
During the course of helping her child emerge, and witnessing the success of the tools Joan shared with her child’s school, Joan saw an expansive need in the world for this type of support. And so, in 2014 Joan established Valere, Inc., a company dedicated to creating products to help children with communication disorders socially and academically connect, grow and thrive.
It was from here that Kula Ed emerged as a first of its kind technology.